Are animal rights extremists taking control of the government in England? Conservative Party think tank The Bow Group is calling for an inquiry into the influence the PM’s fiance Carrie Symonds has in the UK government.
Concerns have grown since Number 10 hired two of Symonds’ allies were hired as advisers.
A vocal supporter of animal rights and opponent of hunting, her time at Number 10 with PM Boris Johnson has seen the government mull bans on hunting tourism ‘trophies’, the replacement of the badger cull with an unproven vaccination programme, and a crackdown on moorland management, making it harder to conserve rare uipland species. Thanks in part to this, animal rights group PETA named Symonds ‘person of the year 2020’ for making the world ‘a kinder place for animals’.
Front page of tomorrow’s Telegraph: “Culling may raise bovine TB risk as badgers move to new habitats”— Carrie Symonds (@carriesymonds) November 12, 2018
Hope the government will seriously consider ending the badger cull now. Despite 20,000 badgers being culled last year there has only been very “modest” impact on bovine TB. pic.twitter.com/lQFmEaIzmG
Nicknamed Princess Nut Nut by ousted Johnson advisor Dominic Cummings, Symonds has been a high-profile critic of government-sponsored badger culls since before she arrived at Number 10. In early 2020, the National Farmers Union called for judicial review of a government decision to scrap a badger cull in Derbyshire. The decision to pull the cull came three weeks after Symonds met Badger Trust head Dominic Dyer.
The Bow Group wants to know what meetings she has attended and whether she has given orders to key advisers. It says the inquiry should clarify Symonds’ “position and authority”, according to the Evening Standard.
The group’s chairman Ben Harris-Quinney says “consistent reports in the press suggest that Ms Symonds is taking a central role in running the country, without any authority or accountability”.
“The public take a very dim view of cronyism, democracy in Britain is and must always be sacred, and no one should be involved in running our country without accountability to the people,” he is quoted as saying.
Members of the Bow Group include Norman Tebbit, Norman Lamont, MP John Redwood and former MP Ann Widdecombe.